Leveraging Informal Building Practices

David Harlander | Susane Havelka | Vikram Bhatt

Excerpt from Blueprint for a Hack by Vikram Bhatt, Savid Harlander and Susane Havelka, published by Actar Publishers.

The CCA Charrette and Hackathon worked in tandem. Young designers’ putting forth ideas within a skillfully framed design charrette generated a wide range of ideas and a creative range of solutions. This in turn served as an inspiration for the Hackathon, which would later be recognized by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Canadian Institute of Planners, and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects with the 2018 National Urban Design Award in the Small or Medium Community Urban Design category.

The event also allowed a variety of people to participate – experts and professionals. Local partners were essential to the process. Tools like Google photos and maps were invaluable as they helped provide important contextual information to the design team in Montreal. Other key elements include forethought and planning, background research and a platform for public engagement, including digital outreach through social media.

The five day Hackathon was the culmination of a long gestation period. What we did up front through Skype included; Brainstorm potential design ideas, preliminary site selection (final selection in the field) and promote the event to the community. These elements were paramount to the project’s success.

Modifying tractor tires for the base of the light beacon. Kuujjuaq, QC, 2017
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